In February of last year, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Hawkins, executive producer and actor in the series Or Die Trying. The series revolves around four women, a writer, an actor, a journalist, and a comedian who are trying to find that perfect work-life balance. They keep pushing forward as they try to achieve their dreams, maintain friendships and relationships, and fight to succeed in a notoriously sexist industry. They’ll work as hard as possible for their goals, or die trying.
The series streams exclusively on Facebook, and the first episode launched tonight. And I have to say, even though the premiere’s run time is roughly 7 minutes, I’m already in love. How couldn’t I be? From just the first episode, the show already feels incredibly real. Why? Well, besides the fact that the cast is fantastic, the show is written by a woman.
Myah Hollis, the show’s creator, writer, and one of the lead actors, writes with the perfect combination of eloquence and modern slang, creating an effortlessly relatable vibe within the show’s first moments. The way these women are both written and portrayed…I honestly find myself speechless, because I feel like I know them all. Each of them remind me of one of my friends, or someone I’ve worked with, or met in passing! Each of them remind me of real women. And after the episode ended, it hit me how rarely I get to experience that feeling. How rarely any woman does. This show, for that reason alone, could be a huge game-changer.
Even though the episode is short, we’re already starting to get a good glimpse at the main characters and their personalities, a true testament to Hollis’ writing talents. Raegan (Hollis) somehow seems to to embrace both the chill and hustle lifestyle. She has no problem throwing a house party, getting drunk, and heading into a meeting the next morning like a total pro. But she seems a little distant. Then we have Ellie (Sarah Hawkins), who is hard-working and passionate, but her parents don’t understand what she’s doing. She’s all smiles and brushes it off, until she’s alone, where she allows herself to silently break down.
We meet Amelia (Jenny Austin) during a turbulent time in her life, when she discovers that her fiancé has been cheating on her with a girl he met at a bar, confirming her worst fears. She, it looks like, is completely struggling with her identity now that this shift has occurred. And then we have Bailey (Chelsea London Lloyd), who is confident and unapologetically herself. She knows who she is and what she wants, and really, what more do you need than that? But no doubt there’s more going on under the surface.
I’m honestly already obsessed with this series. From the way the girls interact with each other to their individual and unique personalities, Or Die Trying portrays women in an incredibly realistic way. Oh, and did I mention that the majority of the crew are women as well? This is not only a story about women, it is a story created by women! And that is what makes it so powerful and so real. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this.
Or Die Trying Streams Exclusively On Facebook On Sunday Nights. You Can Watch The First Episode Here.